January 29, 2020 –
While I Continued to Type
My mother insisted I take a typing course in my senior year at Ocala High School. The typing class was not cool. Typing, like short-hand, was for girls. My mother discounted that thinking, and I enrolled in a typing class.
My fingers are short, and I remember the keyboard was complex. I still find the QWERTY keyboard a mystery. They were designed to separate frequently used pairs of typebars so that the typebars would not clash and get stuck at the printing point. My typing style allowed for type bar clashing.
When we had a typing test, Ms. Emma Smith timed you. I think five minutes, but it seemed like five hours.
Ms. Smith gave the start command to type. I remember the clanging sound of the keys hitting against the platen and then the sound of someone hitting the carriage return lever and start typing again. The other students hit the return bar more often than me. And the key taps were more often heard coming from the other students. Why I disliked typing was not the sounds of the keys types or the sound of the return bars; it was the sound of silence while I continued to type